Bonnie Lake

Cheney, Washington 99004

Bonnie Lake

Bonnie Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Bonnie Lake isn’t convenient. The 600-foot cliffs that surround it are known only to a few farmers, anglers, and canoeists. It can’t be seen from any road, but is reached by paddling almost a mile up a sluggish creek that is nearly dry by August. Only canoes, rafts, and car-top boats with small motors can make the trip, so the lake is a fairly quiet getaway, an hour from Spokane. Bonnie Lake is home to red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures in the summer, and bald eagles and a variety of waterfowl in the fall and spring.

Raccoons feed on the lake’s crayfish, as do bass, perch, and crappie. Keep your ears tuned for the cascading song of canyon wrens and the flurry of red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds. This is rattlesnake country. Be aware that strong winds are common in the afternoon. Few bays offer security in big blows, and vertical rock shorelines in some areas make beaching impossible. An easy 1- or 2-hour up-lake paddle could possibly turn into an epic on the return trip. Be patient."

Nearby Trails

Bonnie Lake Reviews

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This was a really hard place to find. I honestly couldn't even tell you how we got there, since we got lost so many times and had to turn around. You'll need to bring a Washington Gazetteer with you or some other great navigational source. I don't recall any roads being marked though, so pay close attention. This was a really fun paddle. The meandering stream leading into the south end of the lake was great. There's an island that we stopped at to eat lunch on, and it was fairly apparent that in warmer weather, you'd need to watch for rattlesnakes. But it's my understanding that you can only do this paddle in the spring during higher water, so rattlesnakes shouldn't be an issue. There's apparently a hike to do at the north end of the lake, but we didn't make it that far, since we chose to spend our extra time fishing on the south end of the lake. I hope to do this paddle again, but I'll choose a nicer spring day to do it on, and I'll eat lunch on my kayak rather than the island, since I'm not a huge fan of rattlesnakes.

Bonnie Lake Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
Half day or overnight
Class I
Best: March through October
U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Spokane
Local Contacts
USGS Chapman Lake, Pine City
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018